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El Hazard: The Magnificent World
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/31/1999

A usual day in school turns into something else when mysterious ruins are discovered underground. High school student Makoto Mitzuhara and his friends suddenly find themselves in another world, a world known as El Hazard. What's more, a strange turn of events puts Makoto in a situation where he has to dress like a woman and impersonate one of the princesses there! He has to assume the role and responsibilities of the missing Princess Fatora in order to preserve peace in El Hazard, and perhaps discover a way to return to Earth. But even so, dark forces plot to destory El Hazard... Makoto and friends must now find the real Fatora, save El Hazard, and find a way back home!
Just after watching the first volume, I was immediately hooked. El Hazard is zany, hilarious, and very entertaining.
Makoto seems like your regular guy, but he possesses this incredibly blind luck which enables him to put one over his enemies without even knowing it. Hell, half the time he doesn't even know he has enemies. A lot of girls in this series are enamored with Makoto to boot. He's so lucky everytime and everywhere that it drives his "rival" (Makoto doesn't know about the rivalry either...) Jinnai insane.
The mood is generally light, but things get more emotional in the later epsiodes. There are several sub-plots, but all are smoothly interwined with the main storyline. Characterization is very distinct even for the minor cast members. Witty dialogues also contribute a lot to El Hazard's overall appeal and fun factor. I found myself laughing my butt off through El Hazard's wacky and at times racy humor. There are lesbian themes, a lot of sexual undertones (mostly meant to be funny), but nothing overly explicit.
The art and animation are excellent throughout. The English dubbing is fantastic! It's actually better than the original Japanese version, which is a rare case. I should also mention that the story is fully realized and concluded within this series, and none of the follow-ups and spin-offs are really necessary (mainly because none of them ever measure up to this one).
El Hazard has spawned a TV series, and two more OAV series. But the original (this one) is still the best of the bunch! The DVD boxed set contains the entire El Hazard 1 and El Hazard 2 series.

El Hazard: The Magnificent World
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Review Title:
El Hazard: The Magnificent World
Alternative Titles:
Shinpi no Sekai El Hazard
210 Minutes
General Rating:
5 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Adventure, Comedy, Fantasy,
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